The NA49 fixed-target experiment studied high energy-density matter produced in nucleus-nucleus reactions at the CERN SPS. In central Pb+Pb collisions at 158AGeV the energy density at the early stage substantially exceeds the threshold for quark deconfinement predicted by lattice QCD The produced matter shows strong transverse and longitudinal flow. Ratios of yields of produced particles are approximately consistent with statistical equilibration. An energy scan through the SPS range revealed structure in the energy dependence of π and K yields as well as of the inverse slopes of transverse mass distributions. These features suggest that a deconfined phase starts to be produced at around 30A GeV in central Pb+Pb collisions The analysis of fluctuations and correlations has not yet provided evidence for the predicted critical point of QCD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)